ITHACA, N.Y. – St. Catherine Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of its official church charter recently with a special event, which was attended by the wider Ithaca community including local ministers, other area Orthodox Christian priests and Cornell University and Ithaca College faculty.
Rev. Dr. George D. Dragas, professor of patristics and Church history at Holy Cross School of Theology was the event’s featured speaker. Fr. Dragas has represented the Ecumenical Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem in scores of interfaith dialogues at the ecumenical level for more than 35 years. To mark the occasion, Archbishop Demetrios also sent his archiepiscopal greetings to Rev. Dr. Athanasios Parthenakis, pastor, and the St. Catherine’s parish community for the event: His Eminence wrote, in part: “For the last 50 years, you have gathered humbly and joyfully before God in prayer. You have proclaimed the Gospel with power and conviction. You have taught the precepts of the Orthodox Christian faith, through your words and deeds, to each generation… You share in a sacred history as an ecclesial community of the Great Church of Christ.”
Alderman Joseph Murtagh of Ithaca presented St. Catherine’s community with an official proclamation from the City of Ithaca: proclaiming Nov. 25 as ‘St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church Day. Four sons of the parish graduated from Holy Cross: the late Metropolitan Epiphanios (Gus) Perialas; the Very Rev. Seraphim (John) Poulos, pastor of Sts. Nicholas, Constantine & Helen Church in Roseland, N. J; Rev. Steve Dalber, pastor of St. Nektarios Church in Charlotte, N. C; and Evan C. Lambrou, event organizer.